Why Do Tribes Have Matrilineal Societies?

Women have always played a significant role in the existence and administrations of tribal nations. They have been instrumental due to their innate ability to reason and dispense wisdom. They also were characterized as wise because they originated the teachings for the children. The men were allowed to articulate, enforce and deliver these teachings, but it was the women who monitored and allowed them to speak. They were the faith keepers and, for Eastern tribes, the originators of the Longhouse system of government, whereby they designated who amongst the men was to articulate the laws.

As a Lakota, I experienced matrilineal authority early on. My mother ran everything. She paid the bills, bought the groceries, and decided when and where we would go. She settled all arguments and her word was law in our family. I don?t know if that qualifies as having matrilineal authority, but she clearly possessed it. My grandmother was also the same way. She took no guff, and you had better not roll your eyes at her either. She was strict but fair in all her decisions. She could swing a mean ax when it came to chopping wood too. All the women that I came in contact with as a young man were strong women. They had to be, because they were experiencing tough times.

Today’s Indian women are no different. They have to face some of the same challenges, only in a different time. Today, we have different issues and concerns, but, our women still have the majority vote when it comes to making the important decisions. What impresses me these days is how educated they are and how willing they are to take the lead when it comes to the welfare of their people.

Matrilineal societies existed amongst the Eastern tribes for sure, but they also existed in other tribes, like the plains tribes, but the women were behind the scenes. They made the decisions, but allowed the men to articulate them—how smart was that?

We have always had deep respect and love for our women, for the unique Creator-given ability to procreate and a host of other reasons. Modern times, assimilation and the cultural and lifestyle changes we have gone through as a people, have somewhat clouded the standing and reverence we once had for our women, and that is not a good thing. My only hope is that the new generations will come to the realization that our women—our mothers, and our grandmas—are the ultimate reason we are still here, and a viable people, today.



Published by


Bridgette Lyn Dolgoff was born into the Russian bloodline, has been a lifetime student & practitioner of Shamanism. She is a Star Child that was sent to Earth in the second grand wave. Bridgette walks and works in the multidimensional layers and specializes in her own formats, structures, and practices. For over 25 years she has taught & facilitated "Energetic & Structural Medicine" for humans, earth, and all living beings. Bridgette is registered with the International Association of Medical Intuitive. In 2006 Bridgette began consulting for Corporate & Political geared business with a focus on creating "ECO-nomical Cooperation’s". Bridgette became a full-scale activist & citizen lobbyist in her home state and nationally for food, alternative medicine & environment in 2009. Bridgette is a sustainable, Biodynamic farmer educating about our spiritual return back to Earth. She brings insights on how to work with the medicine of earth in systems of recovery and restoration for the health of our bodies, soil, water, air, plants life and animals. Bridgette builds & consults "urban farms" individual family food production and peri-urban community farms. She has traveled to build core food productions on off-grid land for other communities, on-site training for those just starting out. The Urban Farm Project is consulting and teaching on “soil health” for conservation and education of health of all living beings through nutritionally dense food coming from the nutritional dense soil “healthy soil”. One of her long-term projects is to develop Biodynamic farms to rehabilitate combat veterans into sustainable Biodynamic farmers, creating a team to eventually travel to restore large land masses and bodies of water. Her offerings come in workshops, webinars, and classes, lecturing at events, consulting, counseling, hands-on building, and development, hands-on healing in person or long distance. She makes handcrafted medicine for land, water, homes, property to healing, balance and reset energies. bridgenit@gmail.com